Where I come from we love stories. In the old times, children sat in the market square in circles and listen to an old person, an aunt, a grandmother, or mother etc tell them stories usually folklores and myths. In recent times, parents read to their children to lure them to sleep. And because now there is such a thing called reading, stories have to be on paper and the media. And when these kids grow up, the circle continues.
Around us every day are stories to be milled round in the name of rumor, gossips or plain facts and information to be shared from one person to another.
One of the ancient means of storytelling is through the mouth. Our forefathers didn’t have television or the internet to watch ‘Tales By Moonlight’ or ‘Tom & Jerry’. Stories were passed round through word of mouth. Today, our means/methods of communication has changed drastically and stories are needed more on paper or visually (which still goes through a script). Word of mouth means of communication has not been totally eradicated, in fact it is very much in vogue. But it can’t be trusted as it can be altered at will and is not complete as there’s a limit to the amount of information one person one person can remember. People who have a story to tell today have to tell it on paper (and this includes posts on the internet as they are forms of passing across written materials). And as many have discovered, it is not easy telling a story on paper. It is so much easier in the head, and when you have to recount it verbally. But write?
In some parts of the world writers are not valued. Infact like teachers, their reward is supposed to be in heaven. It’s rare in Nigeria to see someone who actually wants to be a writer and goes to the university to study courses relating to writing. That is because the growing child’s mind is conditioned to go into professions that are seemingly popular and brings money. Engineering, Law, Medicine, Accountancy, you name it. And every year fewer persons excel at being known writers.
One of the first things to consider while writing a story is the target audience. Who is reading? Will they understand my language and style?
Secondly, make sure you know your language’s rules, structure and general semantics. For e.g, I write in English and I try to follow all the rules of English Language so my readers can understand and relate to the story.
Thirdly, let the story flow. Remember, you have a story to tell and it must be told. Not in any other person’s way but your way. Don’t be too conscious of the story, and don’t try to edit if your story is flowing. If you have writer’s block, take a small break, but don’t ever leave your story for long before you go back to it.
Fourthly, edit your work. You can give it to a professional for professional criticism. Don’t be scared, it will only help you become a better writer. You should get an editor.